How to acquire customer research that shapes your go-to-market strategy

Before you can hire a full-time marketer, you must first get to know your potential customer and what is going on in their life that will ultimately trigger them into using you.

If you can get to grips with the below areas you’ll be much more prepared when deciding what type of marketing resource you want:

  • Why would a customer subscribe to your product?
  • What triggers your customer to decide your product is the one?
  • Who else are you competing against?

I’m going to introduce you to three frameworks that’ll help you to get answers to the above, but more importantly, show you how to apply this to marketing and what it can help you unlock and learn. This topic is something I created a resource on: How to talk to people and land your first customer.

Why would a customer subscribe to your product?

You may have heard a marketer refer to Jobs to Be Done (JTBD). In essence, this is something that helps you to understand what your customer is looking to achieve when ‘hiring’ your product.

A basic example: You don’t hire a hammer to pop a nail in the wall, you hire a hammer to hang a picture to make your room look nice. The hammer is helping you make your room appear attractive, perhaps sellable, or stylish because you want to impress others.

The same goes with a tech product. You need to work out what your product can help your customer achieve.

The process:

You want to interview the right customers and ask questions such as, ‘what are you ultimately trying to achieve? ‘What’s the first thing you’ll do’ or ‘Have you tried to fix this problem yourself, and if so, which products have you cobbled together?’

There’s certainly a science to the questions to ask, but the emphasis needs to be on what they are trying to accomplish. Take note, this can be a lengthy process because you have to really dig into interviews, but the rewards are totally worth it.

How to apply it to your startup’s marketing:

It can help you with targeting your customer base. There’s a chance you may identify a few potential jobs people wish to achieve. Use the findings to identify the group that will pay the most to get the ‘job’ done the best. This may help to speed up the sales cycle or identify more lucrative customer opportunities.

What triggers your customer to decide your product is the one?

Whilst there are many frameworks out there to help you navigate this customer research piece, the effective ones are broadly based on the work of Moesta. He suggests there are six stages a customer will go through when buying something: first thought, passive looking, active looking, deciding, onboarding and ongoing use.

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